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A documentary about writer and director Brian De Palma.
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Brian De Palma ... Himself
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Storyline

In the annals of Hollywood film since the artistic glories of the New Hollywood era, few have a better reputation and body of work in the field of suspense films exploring the contemporary darkness in American life than Brian De Palma. Here, the great film writer and director takes, us in his own words, through his professional life and a career that redefined film horror and suspense. All the while, he also confesses the challenges of working in Hollywood and the price even the great artists pay for being a part of it. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Being a director is being a watcher


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images, graphic nudity, sexual content and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 2016 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Де Пальма See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,355, 12 June 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$163,359, 29 July 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Empire Ward Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Scorsese introduced De Palma (2015) at the DGA theater screening in New York. Scorsese and De Palma have been friends ever since they met at NYU in the late 60s. See more »

Goofs

Home Movies is listed with 1980 as year of release instead of the real year 1979. See more »

Quotes

Brian De Palma: My wife is my movie, not you.
See more »

Connections

Features Mariah Carey Feat. Jay-Z: Heartbreaker (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Solution/The Clinic/Hypnotic Trance
From the motion picture Sisters (1972)
Written and performed by Bernard Herrmann
Courtesy of Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
No hitch in the delivery
4 July 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. A self-inflicted career retrospective … that's my most fitting description of this project from co-directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow. Rather than line-up a slew of third-party observers and collaborators, we get the famed director himself walking us film-by-film through his resume. That's right, Brian De Palma discusses the De Palma film canon … and we movie lovers couldn't ask for anything better.

Beginning with a clip of Vertigo, the doc leads with the Hitchcock influence, almost as a form of disclosure. It's as if everyone associated is saying, Yes we admit it … Director De Palma has been heavily influenced and inspired by the works of Alfred Hitchcock. Now pay attention to what he's done with his career – some really good, some not so good, some downright awful. "Underappreciated" might be the best label for De Palma. He was part of the "New Hollywood" with Spielberg, Scorcese, Coppola, and Lucas, yet they are worshiped, while De Palma is mostly ignored.

Mr. De Palma speaks directly to the camera and seems to thoroughly enjoy this opportunity to analyze (and at times defend) his career, providing a self guided reflective approach - a chronological retrospective that doesn't shy away from his inability to put together a streak of successful films. This is direct talk (describing a particular bomb as "one of many disasters") with no apologies from a filmmaker who has worked for five decades. He tells behind the scenes stories in a matter-of-fact manner, not always complimentary of himself, actors or the industry.

The stories and recollections are the highlight here. De Palma speaks highly of Wilford Leach (his mentor and professor at Sarah Lawrence), composer Bernard Hermann and Robert DeNiro, with less than flattering tales of Cliff Robertson (Obsession), Sean Penn (Casualties of War), and Oliver Stone (Scarface). It's fascinating to hear De Palma explain the box office failure of his version of The Bonfire of the Vanities, address the scandal of Body Double, and describe in detail the simultaneous casting (with Spielberg) of Star Wars and Carrie. Even more eye-opening is his reminiscing on the back-and-forth with director Sidney Lumet as they played hot-potato with Scarface and Prince of the City.

Brian De Palma was Columbia University educated (math and physics), and has directed some of the most creative, colorful and controversial films – some of which never received their "due". This may be mostly a film for those who want more inside-industry scoop, but it's a man who takes pride in the fact that famed film critic Pauline Kael was a fan of his work, and that few directors have a more varied canon of film.

His patented "holy mackerel" is on full display as he takes us on the journey of De Palma films, and it's a reminder that "talking head" documentaries can still work … provided the talking head doing the talking is saying something worth listening to.


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